Project design for research

Key features

This 20 credit masters-level module will enable you to explore the methodology and methods relevant to the development of a research project.

You'll learn how to define and refine a research question, select and appraise methodology, address ethical considerations, and select and appraise data collection and analysis techniques with the aim of formulating your own research proposal by the end of the module.

This module may be used as a standalone option as formal training in research methods to support personal fellowships eg. those offered by NIHR ACFs, NIHR-HEE PCAFs and internship schemes.

Module code

ADV715 /  ADV715Z



FHEQ level

Level 7 - masters degree


Blended learning approach with face to face delivery at Plymouth or via distance learning

Course details

At the end of the module you will be able to:

  • conduct an advanced literature review and write a critical and analytical review of relevant related research literature
  • define and refine a research question appropriate to the award title and the literature
  • identify and justify appropriate research design, methods and analysis techniques for your proposed research
  • outline and discuss critically ethical issues for the proposed research
  • formulate and critically discuss a research proposal in line with the above outcomes.


The assessment for this module is a 4000-word research proposal inclusive of a literature review, methodology, aim and objectives, method, anticipated results and an additional considerations section relevant to the proposed research.

Module dates


Delivery 1

4, 5 October and 3, 4, 5 November 2021. 

Delivery 2

17, 18 January and 14, 16 February 2022. 

The university is following government guidelines on COVID 19 and there is a possibility that some modules may require online delivery. We will keep you informed of any decisions regarding this.


Delivery 1

4, 5 October and 3, 4, 5 November 2021. 

Delivery 2

17, 18 January and 14, 16 February 2022.  

(Occasionally delivery dates might be subject to change – always check with the module lead or Professional Development Unit).

Please be aware that all modules run to minimum numbers. In the event that there are low numbers, this module may be rescheduled to an alternative date. Some modules are also subject to maximum numbers – for further information please contact the Professional Development Unit.

The module is a core module for all pathways of the MSc Advanced Professional Practice programme within the School of Health Professions and the MClinRes Clinical Research programme.

Admissions information 

Additional information and documentation required for the application process.

Access to: 

  • application forms 
  • change of name forms
  • pre-course information
  • downloadable guides
  • student card.

Visit our admissions homepage for full details.

Project design for research - distance learning (ADV715Z)

It is also possible to undertake this module via distance learning. Module content is the same as the taught version but will be delivered by webinars, interactive teaching resources, Skype tutorials and other digital learning tools.

For further information on the distance learning module please contact the Professional Development Unit or module lead.

Entry requirements

To be considered for a place on this module:

You'll be considered and advised individually (where required) by the programme team and Professional Development Unit. Please contact the PDU or programme lead if you have any queries regarding your situation.

Fees and funding


Please see our professional development module fees page.


Funding for this module may be available through your employing trust. To apply please contact your Trust’s Educational Co-ordinator who will guide you through the application process.

If you work in the private, independent and voluntary sector, please contact your employer who will advise you.

Module lead

The module lead is Dr Lisa Bunn.

You can contact the Professional Development Unit with any queries

Prospective student enquiries:


Phone: +44 1752 586951

Current student enquiries:


Professional Development Unit, Level 4 Rolle Building, University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth, PL4 8AA, United Kingdom.

Monday–Thursday 8:30–17:00 and Friday 8:30–16:30.